January 19, 2015

2015 Project Life Intro Page + One Little Word +Changes..

Here I go with my 2015 Project Life.  It's always fun to start the new year off with a fresh start and to try new things. This year I'll be making some changes to my Project Life. I think a little bit is due to some boredom with the way I was creating my pages...maybe not really bored because I love my weekly pages but perhaps just needing to change things up.  I also want to be able to keep up with my pages in a timely manner and to stay on track.  I'm about 12 weeks behind in my 2014 Project Life and I really just don't like that feeling.  I'm hoping to simplify my pages to remedy that.  

So here we go, I'll just jump right in by showing you my introduction pages for 2015 and my One Little Word page.  One Little Word is a concept created by Ali Edwards where you select a word for the year that represents something special to you.  You can read more about it on her blog.  Below is a 6 x 8 page that is the first page of my 2015 Project Life album. All three inserts are printed from digital downloads from One Little Bird.  Peppermint Granberg Jones is the digital artist behind One Little Bird and she's a designer for Gossamer Blue and on the Design Team.  I love her simple designs so much that I'm branching out and will be using more of her digital products purchased from The Lilypad.  I'll be using both printable journaling cards and digital overlays.  I'll talk more about the digital side of my Project Life and some great iPhone apps in an upcoming post.  
 For my embellishments, I used this awesome acrylic 2015 piece and some glittery gold stars from Gossamer Blue kits. I'll be continuing my role on the Design Team + using the Gossamer Blue kits for my Project Life and other crafty projects.
 Turning the page, I have the back side of that 6 x 8 insert + a 12 x 12 divided page for my One Little Word.  There's also a 4 x 6 insert (trimmed from a page protector) with a free quote from Ali Edwards.
 Here's the two page spread without the quote insert. Gold floral vellum is from the On My Desk collection from Gossamer Blue.  I think I need more sheets of this.
 I always like to include a photo of my family for the intro pages to a new Project Life album.  This is a fave from our Colorado trip last Summer.  We are starting a tradition of taking a photo of the same pose at the same location every year.  Certainly worthy of the front page of our albums.
 Vellum is from Gossamer Blue, gold circle is from a GB kit and I typed the #always4.  I've adopted this hashtag to use on Instagram and pages and texts to my family.  Four family members=always 4.  The blue journaling card is printed from One Little Bird.
 This 12 x 12 page is all about my One Little Word for 2015.  I chose FREE as my word for the year.  I'll perhaps do a post all about my One Little Word in a future post.
 Journaling cards are from One Little Bird along with some photos I printed from a Pinterest board.
I love the look of all of these first pages.  They definitely set the tone for how I want my upcoming pages to look.  Simple, clean and able to be completed quickly.

That brings me to some changes that I'll be making to my 2015 Project Life albums.  I'm not sure I'll implement all of these changes as I'm giving myself the freedom to just go with the flow.  Here's my list  of thoughts/changes/what I'm keeping the same, in no particular order:

Use 12 x 12 format, mostly Design A page protectors from Project Life.  I'll be mixing in traditional scrapbook pages and inserts in smaller sizes too.

No more white borders around photos. This was a huge decision that I've teetered on for months.  I've done a lot of looking around at other Project Lifers' pages and I've decided I really like the clean and simple look.  Plus it means less time when printing.

Use mostly 4 x 6 and 3 x 4 photos, eliminating most of the smaller, square Instagrams. It's just simpler for planning purposes, printing and it looks clean in my pages.

Journal most on 3 x 4 journaling cards leaving the photos without journaling or embellishing. I will write directly on some photos here and there.

More handwritten journaling.  This is huge because my handwriting is big and loopy and I don't really like to see it on my pages.  But it's simpler and I think it will be important to see my handwriting in the years to come.

Weekly, dated information on first 4 x 6 photo using digital overlays from One Little Bird.

Week in review on 3 x 4 journaling card.  Instead of using a journaling card for each photo/event, some weeks may have all journaling in bullet form on a 3 x 4 card.  Simple.

Organize sports photos and newspaper articles better.  Maybe Project Life pockets, special inserts for photos.

More selective on photo choices so I can condense the number of photos.

Use digital products to print journaling cards and to use overlays on photos.  I'll be doing a lot of behind the scenes work on my iPhone.  More to come on this in a future post.

Use the Project Life iPhone app to create photo collages.  Some of my weekly spreads or inserts may be created fully with the page designs too.  It's just too simple not to take advantage of at times.

Stay caught up in 2015.  My plan is to use a Monday-Sunday format.  Plan a week on Sunday, print and work on pages on Monday and then blog that week.

More in depth stories between the weekly pages.  I subscribe to both Ali Edwards' Story Stamps and Story Kits which are wonderful products for jump starting your stories.  Ali's educational videos and blog posts that go along with these products is are so well executed.  It's an entire bundle of information and I highly recommend.

More event/us/real life photos versus just still life photos of house stuff, etc.  I want to see the people and read their stories more.

Simple, clean pages with fewer embellishments.  It all goes back to keeping the focus on stories + photos. I don't want color and embellishments to overpower my photos.  I can always get more crazy on my other crafty projects like wrappings and cards.

Stay true to my style in terms of embellishments, colors, etc.  I want my album to represent what I like so I'll be selective in my choices.

Stick with two 12 x 12 albums per year.  I've been able to do this and should easily keep with this method, especially if I'm adding fewer embellishments.

Most photos will continue to be taken on my iPhone 6+ and some from my big camera.

Print photos at home using my Epson Artisan printer and Epson Premium Glossy photo paper.

Eliminate planning pages and just print the photos that fit.  I spent a lot of time planning pages in 2014 and it was draining.  By using just 4 x 6 and 3 x 4 photos, I'm hoping to just be able to eyeball it and print what fits.  Sticky notes are my friend when it comes to Project Life.

Use my planner/calendar to keep track of photos taken and to make notes about stories I want to write.

Possibly create blog posts that tell stories I will want to document later on.  I love how Ali Edwards does this and then copies the journaling directly into her layouts.  Not sure on this one though.

Finish inserts at the time I finish a weekly spread.  Last year I skipped doing a lot of inserts and these are some of the most important moments.....like birthdays, graduations, etc.  I want to keep on top of it all.

Put more of me into the photos.  This will be a challenge.  I'm fat.  I don't like to be in photos.  But I need to get over it.  My family loves me and it is what it is.  (I know....just lose weight, right)

Okay, that was a lot of sharing for today so if you stayed with me, thank you!  I've already finished the first two weeks of 2015 and they are very simple in nature.  I got them done so quickly.  We'll see how my weeks end up looking as the weeks progress.  I hope you'll join me all year long. 


Basement Stamper said...

Love your changes and they are some I've also contemplated over the years-I've always loved your white boarders but I got WAY behind on 2014 (like 8 months) and spent a good week editing photos. It was a lot! Hoping that I can stay caught up in 2015 as well and know I will be looking forward to seeing your creations throughout and the changes you've made.

Elizabeth V. said...

I am singing the chorus to your song. My first book from 2014 is completely done and my second half of the year is in pieces (quite literally). I am feeling a bit of (good) pressure to get everything completed. Our youngest daughter graduates from high school this spring and her friends have been so sweet to send me photos for "the book" and are all looking forward to a party in the spring to come and look at the books and see the spots where their photos are included. I don't think they really quite understand Project Life but in this digital age, they are excited to come and look at real albums. Needless to say, I need to get it in gear.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and process. I will enjoy seeing how you put everything into practice in the coming year. I too hear the siren's song to simplify. I have to keep reminding myself that my people just want the pictures and the stories. They often linger of the journaling but really pay no heed to the embellishments. I do some because I like it but it really isn't worth making myself crazy.
Happy New Year!!

Debbie said...

Wow...way to share with us!!
I am FAT too Michelle, & find myself tucking behind people to get in the photo's...ha ha��
I have ALWAYS loved your style & YOU are the reason I Started PL 3 years ago!! I do 1 book per year, and I'm on my 3rd album. Previously I scrapbooked 12 x12 style.
I have to admit my sadness when I read you'd be changing your style to more simple & cleaner...however I GET IT!! I too subscribe to Ali's story stamp set & contiplated giving up my gossamere kit to get Ali's story kit to go with the stamp set. SOOO much to LOVE!
I'm excited to learn more about the cool easy apps for overlays myself!
YOU ROCK....& just know we'd be best friends if we lived closer!!! I love you Michelle!!
Thanks again for your continuing inspiration!!

Lise said...

I'm so excited with the changes you're doing to your Pl album for this year Michelle. I'm a long time fan of your PL style (never attempted it myself though!) but I'm also loving the new clean and simple approach you're trying this year as well. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this change. Can't wait to see your weekly PL pages :)

listgirl said...

Thanks for sharing your PL process & thoughts! Change is good and refreshing. Excited for you!

Heather Prins said...

thank you for sharing your thoughts, you are always an inspiration! I want to be you when i grow up, lol. Seriously woman how do you do it all and so beautifully?

jennV said...

Love your changes and your pages....also love your word...it's my word for the year as well!!

Tina Joergens said...

You always seem to be on trend and yet stay true to your style .. I admire that! Thanks for detailing your PL plans for 2015. I have adopted your planner-style planning for my first ever PL attempt. It may have become tedious for you, but since the process new for me I have found that it helps keep me on track for my page goals. Thanks for all your past, present and future shares!
Keep it cozy :)

Anne said...

Love your post... There's a lot of correlation within your posts content that parallels my PL 2015 choices for this year as well.

I wish you all the best in FREE-ing yourself of the NEGATIVE within your life! This will not be an easy feat and you may even find yourself being "tested" at times. I made the same choice last year with "relationships" or better yet... all the ONE WAY in my life along with the drama/negative as life has it's own way of bringing drama to our doorsteps.

Look forward to seeing your OLW within your PL for this year. Mine was OUTLOOK... seems fitting after last years choice. :)

Joann6274 said...

Michelle first off, who cares if you think you are fat? Really? Who cares! Get in the pictures! LOL
Your family wants to see you in those albums too... remember some day you won't be here and your children and future grandchildren will want to look back and see the woman who documented their life! Ok.. now... great job really! I really love the clean and simple route you are going for with your 2015 PL...I love all the bullets you hit for the changes you are willing to make so that way you stay on task and don't overwhelm yourself. Crafting afterall is supposed to be fun, not a chore. =)
Looking forward to seeing your PL albums this year!!

Lisa Corbin said...

Funny how the trends go in circles. I started PL very simple, just photos, journaling, minimal embellishments. Then I see all these pages with lots of embellishments and white borders and little square instagram pictures. That's what I'm doing this year! I limit myself to one album per year and usually stick to Design A because it's easier. This year I will be using all the "other" designs that are languishing in my stash.

I am going to be 50 this year and a few years ago got over the hiding from pictures thing. I have never liked having my picture taken since I was a kid. As a result, I don't have a lot of pictures of me from my childhood, 20s and most of my 30s. And I didn't realize it at the time but I looked damned good in my 20s. Now, I'm the one taking the group selfie so that I get me and everyone else in the shot.

alexandra s.m. said...

Greta post Michelle!
I'm a PLer as well and I've always been a big fan of yours!
Good Luck and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and creative process!

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